It’s taken nearly nine months but finally a date has been set for the second public law and order meeting for Tamworth.
Unfortunately, despite a petition of 18,000 signatures from local people concerned about crime and law and order in Tamworth, despite a public meeting that attracted more than 1000 people to the town hall, despite meetings between councillors and Premier Barry O’Farrell in Sydney, despite the media headlines and despite the
representations of the local Nationals member, that meeting will not have a hardline lineup of state ministers and politicians.
The Attorney General Greg Smith will fly the flag for this government for this meeting. At this stage there’s no word on any other politician putting up their hand to attend.
The Tamworth mayor, Col Murray, might not have been outspoken about the distinct lack of political clout for the meeting when he announced the date for the follow up meeting, but there can be no doubt that there will be a certain amount of angst in city hall that the premier could not find a date in his diary after all this time, and all this outspoken anger and appeals for political action, to attend.
Neither can police minister Michael Gallacher find a spot to appear on the bill.
The council has moved on making a decision without them because it fears too much time has passed for it to be prolonged any further. It believes the community should not have to wait any longer to hear what has been going on in relation to crime, in relation to law and order in this city, in the days and weeks and months since the first meeting in December 2011.
That meeting set a charter of things people wanted addressed. It was a document that displayed just how fed-up this community was about the level of crime in the city they love.
The state government said months ago it was determined to get tough on crime. It has moved significantly to do that in a number of areas – in particular gun crime following drive-by shootings in Sydney and by changing legislation to target outlaw motorbike gangs and those who associate with them.
Like Tamworth, Sydney saw a public meeting only weeks ago, prompted by the senseless, tragic death of a young man in Kings Cross. The government has since promised responses to such sickening stuff.
Tamworth waits to hear the solutions too.